A management plan for Lake McLarty Nature Reserve, part of an internationally recognised wetland system, was released today by Environment and Peel Minister David Templeman.
The reserve is part of the Peel-Yalgorup system, one of the largest and most diverse estuarine complexes in Western Australia, which was included on the List of Wetlands of International Importance in 1990. In 2001, the southern part of Lake McLarty was added to this ‘Ramsar’ listing.
The 220ha reserve, about 20km south of Mandurah, also lies within the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, an important path for migratory birds from the northern hemisphere, in particular Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, which are signatories to migratory bird agreements with Australia.
Mr Templeman, who is also Mandurah MLA, said Lake McLarty was a major refuge for migratory waterbirds, especially some rarer species that favoured freshwater wetlands.
“Many come from the northern hemisphere; red-necked, long-toed and little stints, sharp-tailed, curlew, marsh, wood and pectoral sandpipers, black-tailed godwits, common greenshanks, wood sandpipers, little ringed plovers, Asian dowitchers, ruffs and Oriental pratincoles.
“They fly up to 14,000 kilometres to get here, covering vast expanses of ocean to arrive, rest and feed at Lake McLarty. So we owe it to them, and to the community, to preserve this pristine environment.
“The lake also contains important native vegetation and is a source of great community passion, with many local people volunteering hours of their time to carry out work and monitor the lake environment.”
The Minister said the plan was prepared by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA. It was developed in consultation with the local community, the Peel Preservation Group and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.
The plan includes management strategies for conserving and protecting the natural environment in conjunction with sustainable and low-impact visitor activities.
Key initiatives are:
· public education about the ecological impacts of surrounding land uses and the need for buffer zones;
· liaison with adjoining landowners to management groundwater quality throughout the Peel-Harvey catchment to ensure the lake and its ecosystems are maintained and protected; and
· guidelines for biodiversity conservations as well as protecting the reserve from threatening processes such as disease.
Mr Templeman said it was essential to protect the range of habitat that Lake McLarty provided.
“Tackling many of the ecological pressures on Lake McLarty and other lakes on the coastal plain requires a whole-of-catchment approach,” he said.
“The management plan requires the close involvement of DEC, the Shire of Murray, local landholders and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council in implementing strategies to conserve the reserve and its biodiversity values.”
Copies of the plan are available from DEC offices in Mandurah and Kensington, or DEC’s website, http://www.naturebase.net/content/view/104/801/
Minister's office - 9220 5050